Unmon's Family Tradition

A monk asked Unmon, "What is your family tradition?" Unmon answered, "Oh, it looks like students who wish to come to learn are already outside the gate."

Unmon succeeded Seppo and founded the Unmon school of Zen. He taught many students, and his school developed many special characteristics. But here the monk asked not about techniques and methods, but about unmon's daily Zen life. Unmon's answer said nothing about Buddhism or Zen. And if the monk had continued his questioning, asking about the students outside the gate, he would still be far off the point. Students who wish to learn are not only outside the gate. They are always at hand. Each of us has deep within a student who wishes to learn. Unmon himself is at the gate of learning. Each of us stands there with him.


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